Mental Health Diagnoses Are Sometimes Politically-Motivated
Many psychologists and psychiatrists are good people, who are only trying to help their patients.
Soviet psychiatrists famously aided Stalin in applying fake insanity diagnoses to political dissenters. The official explanation was that no sane person would declaim the Soviet government and Communism.
American psychologists created the American program of torture which was specially-crafted to produce false confessions to justify U.S. military policy. And see this.
And authoritarian American psychologists are eager to label anyone "taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices ... and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook" as worthy of a trip to the insane asylum. (Those traits may also get one labeled as a potential terrorist.)
As prominent forensic psychiatrist James Knoll -- psychiatry professor at SUNY-Syracuse and director of a forensic fellowship program -- writes in the Psychiatric Times:
"When psychiatric science becomes co-opted by a political agenda, an unhealthy alliance may be created. It is science that will always be the host organism, to be taken over by political viruses." [P]sychiatry may come to resemble a new organism entirely -- one that serves the ends of the criminal justice system."- Advertisement -
Even psychologists with good intentions can erroneously label people delusional simply because they themselves make bad assumptions.
There is even a label for this -- the "Martha Mitchell Effect" -- defined as:
"The process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician mistakes the patient's perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly."
The authors of a paper on this phenomenon (Bell, V., Halligan, P.W., Ellis, H.D. (2003) Beliefs About Delusions, The Psychologist, 6 (8), 418-422) conclude:
"Sometimes, improbable reports are erroneously assumed to be symptoms of mental illness [due to a] failure or inability to verify whether the events have actually taken place, no matter how improbable intuitively they might appear to the busy clinician."- Advertisement -
In other words, psychologists who haven't taken the time to examine for themselves the claims of their patients will tend to label as delusional anything which they "intuitively" feel is improbable. As such, psychologists and psychiatrists are just as prone to acting out their irrational prejudices as anyone else ... unless they take the time to investigate and educate themselves.Governments Indefinitely Detaining Citizens In Psychiatric Wards Without Due Process of Law
As such, detention in psych wards on mere "suspicion" of posing a danger -- without due process of law -- is troubling.
For example, former marine Brandon Raub was just carted off and locked in a psychiatric ward for his allegedly "anti-government" Facebook posts.